This is Part 1 of a rather long journal entry I wrote recently and decided to break into 3 parts. It is intended to provide the background necessary to understand the 2 subsequent parts, which explore themes that have basically taken over my life for most of the past month. The background given in this post is my understanding of / perspective on a fictional universe. It only focuses on the details that are salient to the points I needed to make.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with telling stories based on Exalted, a White Wolf tabletop role-playing game. It takes place in a world created by Primordials (titans in Greek mythology) and run by gods whose free will is … limited. The gods rebelled against the Primordials, but could not kill them on their own, so they got one who was sympathetic to their cause to create Exaltations – indestructible bits of magic that empower humans to annihilate titans (literally). If the human with a particular Exaltation dies, the Exaltation finds a new living human who meets the criteria of the god who owns it.
Two of the gods in question, the Unconquered Sun and Luna, both agreed to have each of their Exaltations bound to one of the other’s. (There’s supposed to be a power dynamic in there, but my friends and I are ignoring it in our game: we’ve decided the bond affects both Exalted types equally.) Like the Exaltations themselves, the bond between each pair is indestructible. The two people bound together in this way are called ‘mates,’ but the relationship that develops between them can take any form.
Thousands of years ago, the person with my character’s Lunar Exaltation and their Solar mate worked together to help their fellow Exalts defeat the Primordials. The titans who surrendered (Yozis) were trapped inside their leader, a living hell, and the ones who died … well, they couldn’t really die properly because when they created death and reincarnation, they did not provide a mechanism for it to apply to themselves. They became these weird dead-but-not relatively impotent insane resentful beings of immense power. Their death created both the Underworld (world of the dead/ghosts) and the Abyss/Oblivion (absolute non-being). These ‘dead’ Primordials are called the Neverborn.
Millennia passed; no one living knows how many pairs of extraordinary humans were brought together by these two particular Exaltations. But there was a problem with the Solar Exaltations that caused the people who bore them to become abusive. Other Exalted types conspired to kill all of the Solars. They trapped the Solar Exaltations for nearly two thousand years, but the Yozis and the Neverborn recently managed to steal some (and free the others). Broken and corrupted themselves, the fallen Primordials defiled the stolen Solar Exaltations according to their own twisted natures. For the past seven years or so they have been using these Exaltations to tempt and empower desperate humans to wreak havoc in Creation.
To be continued …